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  • Rocket emissions and debris from spacecraft falling out of orbit are having increasingly detrimental effects on global atmospheric chemistry. Improved monitoring and regulation are urgently needed to create an environmentally sustainable space industry.

    • Jamie D. Shutler
    • Xiaoyu Yan
    • Hitoshi Nasu
  • Inclusive and equitable geoscience requires identification and removal of structural barriers to participation. Replacing the leaky pipeline metaphor with that of a hostile obstacle course demands that those with power take the lead.

    • Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
    • Rebecca T. Barnes
    • Erika Marín-Spiotta
  • A more comprehensive understanding of the role of irrigation in coupled natural–human systems is needed to minimize the negative consequences for climate, ecosystems and public health.

    • Sonali Shukla McDermid
    • Rezaul Mahmood
    • Zoe Lieberman
  • Social scientists and geoscientists must work together to critically evaluate and develop feasible visions for a sustainable future. Is a clean-energy economy more viable than a degrowth future?

    • Thomas Franssen
    • Mandy de Wilde
  • Enabling public sharing of scientific data in China not only needs top-down mandates but also incentive mechanisms that boost confidence and willingness to engage in data-sharing practices among Chinese researchers.

    • Xin Li
    • Guodong Cheng
    • Guofeng Zhao
  • Globally, land- and fire-management policies have counterproductively caused cascading ecosystem changes that exacerbate, rather than mitigate, wildfires. Given rapidly changing climate and land-use conditions that amplify wildfire risk, a policy shift to adaptive management of fire regimes is urgently needed.

    • Mark A. Cochrane
    • David M. J. S. Bowman
  • Working spaces and cultures in the geosciences need to change in order to attract, safeguard and retain people with disabilities.

    • Anya Lawrence
  • Geoscientists will play key roles in the grand challenges of the twenty-first century, but this requires our field to address its past when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Considering the bleak picture of racial diversity in the UK, we put forward steps institutions can take to break down barriers and make the geosciences equitable.

    • Natasha Dowey
    • Jenni Barclay
    • Rebecca Williams
  • Geological and botanical archives can preserve evidence of exceptional floods going back centuries to millennia. Updated risk guidelines offer a new opportunity to apply lessons from paleoflood hydrology to judge the odds of future floods.

    • Scott St. George
    • Amanda M. Hefner
    • Judith Avila
  • Underground smouldering fires resurfaced early in 2020, contributing to the unprecedented wildfires that tore through the Arctic this spring and summer. An international effort is needed to manage a changing fire regime in the vulnerable Arctic.

    • Jessica L. McCarty
    • Thomas E. L. Smith
    • Merritt R. Turetsky
  • Land-use and land-cover changes are accelerating. Such changes can homogenize the water cycle and undermine planetary resilience. Policymakers and practitioners must consider water–vegetation interactions in their land-management decisions.

    • Delphis F. Levia
    • Irena F. Creed
    • Michael Bruen
  • It is commonly thought that old groundwater cannot be pumped sustainably, and that recently recharged groundwater is inherently sustainable. We argue that both old and young groundwaters can be used in physically sustainable or unsustainable ways.

    • Grant Ferguson
    • Mark O. Cuthbert
    • Jennifer C. McIntosh
  • The InSight mission on Mars is currently providing us with the first seismic data from a planetary body other than our own Earth since the 1970s. Past efforts will inform this next chapter in planetary seismology.

    • Yosio Nakamura
  • Geoscientists in the United States are predominantly White. Progress towards diversification can only come with a concerted shift in mindsets and a deeper understanding of the complexities of race.

    • Kuheli Dutt
  • Scientists and policymakers must acknowledge that carbon dioxide removal can be small in scale and still be relevant for climate policy, that it will primarily emerge ‘bottom up’, and that different methods have different governance needs.

    • Rob Bellamy
    • Oliver Geden
  • Governments disagree even on the current state of climate change engineering governance, as became clear at the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly negotiations. They must develop mechanisms to provide policy-relevant knowledge, clarify uncertainties and head off potential distributional impacts.

    • Sikina Jinnah
    • Simon Nicholson
  • The climate of South and East Asia is affected by anthropogenic aerosols, but the magnitude of the aerosol imprint is not well known. As regional emissions are rapidly changing, potential related climate risks must be quantified.

    • Bjørn H. Samset
    • Marianne T. Lund
    • Laura Wilcox
  • Social media is increasingly being used to share near-real-time analysis of emergent and sometimes hazardous geological events. Such open discussion can drive new research directions and collaborations for geoscientists.

    • Stephen P. Hicks
  • Field work is an important and valued part of geoscience research, but can also serve as a source of stress. Careful planning can help support the mental health and wellness of participants at all career stages.

    • Cédric Michaël John
    • Saira Bano Khan